LUTHERANS AND CATHOLICS PARTNER TO SERVE THE HOMELESS

Guests:  Pastor Scot Sorensen, former Senior Pastor, Bethel Lutheran Church;  Jackson Fonder, President/CEO, Catholic Charities of Madison

It could be called the Christmas spirit in action when Pastor Scot Sorensen and Jackson Fonder sat down together and with a quick shake of the hands, agreed to partner to keep the Homeless Day Shelter at Bethel Lutheran Church open throughout this winter.  Coming together means not only providing the staff and services but covering 100% of the cost as well.

Homelessness is considered one of the biggest problems facing the Madison area and is the story of real people suffering from domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse or economic hardships.  On this program, you will hear how the Day Center at Bethel is providing a sense of belonging, trust and family to people who have no where else to go.  Learn also of the expanding plans to provide shelter and services to Madison’s homeless population with the eventual goal of eliminating homelessness in our community.

A CONVERATION WITH CRAIG CULVER

Guest:  Craig Culver, co-founder, Culver’s

It was an opportunity they couldn’t resist. So in 1984 Craig Culver and his family opened the very first Culver’s Restaurant in their hometown of Sauk City, Wisconsin featuring ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard which remain today as menu favorites.  This Wisconsin success story turned into a growing franchise and now spans across 24 states. And they are not done yet.

On this program, Craig Culver tells the Culver’s story that began with too few cars stopping and a competitive landscape. Rather than quit, the family rolled up their sleeves, and with unwavering determination and a can-do attitude, developed their own recipe for success.  As Craig says, as much as the business is about food, Culver’s is actually a “people place.”

Hear more of Craig Culver’s business philosophy and how that can be applied to leadership opportunities today.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OPENS DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY

Guests:  Valerie Johnson, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County; James Steinbach, Habitat volunteer; Maricela Gutierrez, Habitat owner

Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is well known for building homes, and now they are hard at work repairing homes for homeowners who qualify. As Habitat for Humanity expands their programs, they remain true to their mission of providing affordable homes, building neighborhood pride, and giving back to their communities.

On this program, Valerie Johnson, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, is joined by James Steinbach, Habitat volunteer, and Maricela Gutierrez, Habitat homeowner.  You will hear from their individual perspectives how Habitat for Humanity programs work to build and repair homes for families who contribute their own “sweat equity” as the down payment on the new stability home ownership offers them.

LITERACY LEADS TO A BETTER LIFE

Guests:  Jeff Burkhart, Executive Director; Jennifer Peterson, Senior Director of Tutoring; Reina Dominguez, Adult Learner – Literacy Network

“I couldn’t ask questions. Writing checks was very hard. Now, I can help at my children’s school…My life has changed because of Literacy Network.” Those are the words of Reina Dominguez, just one of the growing number of adult learners at the Literacy Network and one of the guests on this program.  Joining Reina are Jeff Burkhart and Jennifer Peterson.

You will hear how the Literacy Network teaches reading, writing and speaking skills to Dane County adults and families so they can achieve financial independence, job advancement, good health, and greater involvement in the community.

Literacy Network is also inviting the public to a free event on Thursday, December 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Radisson Hotel Madison, 517 Canyon Drive, to hear personal stories of adult learners achieving success in literacy and to learn how a charitable gift can make an impact. RSVP 608-268-6542 or jdavie@litnetwork.org.

DR. MARK OLSKY: BORN SURVIVOR

Guest:  Mark Olsky, M.D.

“I was born on a train,” states Dr. Mark Olsky, a physician who has lived and worked in the Greater Madison area for decades.  Little did he know when he was first told that as a child, that he was one of the last survivors of the Holocaust.

Dr. Olsky’s mother, Rachel, was two months pregnant when she was sent to Auschwitz where naked, hairless and humiliated, she waited in line as the SS “Angel of Death” doctor, Josef Mengele, judged the new prisoners. Instinctively, Rachel did not admit her pregnancy.  As a result she lived and survived Auschwitz then Freiburg.  On April 20, 1945, on the final train ride to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Mark was born.

The story of Rachel and two other mothers of newborns who were on the same train have been told in the book, Born Survivors, by Wendy Holden.  Dr. Mark Olsky shares the rest of this powerful, real life story on this program.